Super Billiards Expo Begins With Unpredictable Incident
by InsidePOOL Staff
The 16th Annual Super Billiards Expo kicked off Thursday, March 13, at the Valley Forge Convention Center. Hundreds of pool players, pros and amateurs alike, flooded the hallways of the center, while exhibitors showed off their wares on the center’s floors.
The crème de la crème of the four-day event is the $20,000-added Diamond Open 9-Ball Professional Players Championship. Beginning Thursday, 64 of the world’s finest are vying for the $10,000 first-place prize. The format is race to 10, double elimination, alternating break.
In the first round of Thursday’s play, consternation ensued when Italian champion Fabio Petroni and Gabe Owen matched up. Bursting with pent-up frustration, Petroni elected to take out his frustration on the Diamond table and head-butted it. He caught the corner of the table, stood up, reeled, and then fell to the ground. The paramedics were called, and Petroni was taken to the hospital and will not be returning to the event.
Double-hill matches were the way to go, with nail-biting match-ups peppering the board. England’s Raj Hundal bested former U.S. Open champion John “Mr. 403” Schmidt 10-9, and Danny “Kid Delicious” Basavich sent Germany’s Thorsten Hohmann to the west side of the chart after a double-hill bout. Joey Testa won 10-9 over Frankie Hernandez, Tony Crosby defeated Jeremy Sossei 10-9, and Shaun “Get Some” Wilkie sent Atlanta’s Steve Moore to the one-loss side by the same score.
Even this early in the event, there are some notable names in the one-loss side. Ralf Souquet won his first-round match against Tim Hall by a whopping 10-1 but then fell to Adam Smith 10-8 after coming up dry on several breaks. Charlie “Hillbilly” Bryant joins him on the west side after winning his first match against Randy Whitehead 10-4 but falling to Crosby 10-5. And after Basavich’s brilliant besting of Hohmann, he went on to face off against Hundal, who defeated him 10-8.